Chris Rock has finally spoken publicly about being slapped by Will Smith…well, kind of. During his stand-up comedy show on Wednesday night (March 30) at The Wilbur Theatre, the comedian briefly touched on the controversial moment ahead of his rehearsed, residency performance. According to Variety, if the Boston audience had hoped for full commentary on the altercation, they were let down.
“How was your weekend?” he started off after entering the stage to a standing ovation. “I don’t have a bunch of sh*t about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend. I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point, I’ll talk about that sh*t. And it will be serious and funny.”
An audience member reportedly shouted “f**k Will Smith,” only to be ignored by Rock who continued his planned set.
The slap, which occurred as Chris Rock presented the Best Documentary category during Hollywood’s biggest night, was in response to a joke made about Jada Pinkett Smith. Since the incident, many celebrities have spoken out, essentially taking sides on the matter. Joseph Patel, a producer on the documentary “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” which took the category, has revealed that Rock’s comedic performance did not only offend Will Smith.
Speaking on Twitter, Patel expressed disdain for another joke made by Rock after the big win was announced. While introducing the winners, Rock described the landmark feature documentary as the work of Questlove and “four white guys.” Patel, who is South Asian, did not like the joke and claimed it was not the first time the comedian took the same jab. Patel’s now-deleted Twitter thread expressed anger towards not only Chris Rock for the joke but also Will Smith for the slap.
“The reason that makes me SO SO VERY ANGRY is because I was so proud to be one of a handful of South Asians to have ever won an Oscar in the history of the award,” Patel tweeted. “I was ecstatic that I was the 3RD South Asian to win that night – after Riz [Ahmed] and Aneil Karia won earlier in the night for [best live action short winner] ‘The Long Goodbye.’ Three South Asians winning on the same night – that’s never happened before! And it’s meaningful! It’s history!”
He continued: “I got back home to New York last night and saw the ceremony on my DVR and didn’t have the stomach to watch it,” continuing. “I probably never will. Thank you, Chris – You absolute f**king d**k.”
Patel closed by saying “I never need a statue to tell me how nice I am – but it sure helps. And what both Will AND Chris did really stained what should have been a beautiful moment for us.”
Despite previous reports of reconciliation between Rock and Smith allegedly being confirmed by Hip-Hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, the moment of peace likely did not happen. Diddy shared with TMZ that his words may have been misunderstood.
“I never confirmed they had reconciled. I said ‘As brothers, they will work it out, and let’s move on with love.'”